The Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), is set to develop a national policy for occupational safety and health of workers.
The policy will include among others; authorities responsible for occupational safety and health, designed to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations, including systems of inspection.
Edmond Tubanambazi, the Acting Director of Labour and Administration at MIFOTRA revealed this yesterday during a meeting to discuss how health and safety of workers can be improved at workplaces.
The forum brought together members of the confederation of trade unions in the country– Centrale des syndicats des travailleurs du Rwanda (CESTRAR), labour inspectors from all districts in the country and employers’ representatives.
“We are currently preparing a national policy on occupational health and safety and hope by the end of next year, to have it in place,” he said.
Tubanambazi stated that the policy will address challenges faced by employees at workplace, especially in private institutions, adding that specific sectoral regulations will be enforced.
“There are laws and regulations on safety and health of workers but they are not fully implemented, so the national policy will ensure that these laws are applied,” he asserted.
He noted that the ministry also would conduct a study, profiling all workplaces, both public and private, about the progress made in ensuring occupational health and safety.
Martin Mubera, the president of CESTRAR said that workplaces with no health and safety regulations and as well as protective gear for workers will be penalised.
“There is need for stern action to prevent possible occupational injuries, diseases and deaths,” he emphasised.
He stated that his organisation is working closely with labour inspectors to enforce improved working conditions, especially for miners, constructors, industry workers among others.
According to Annet Umulisa, Vice president Pfunda Tea Company Ltd in Rubavu district, her institution ensured that occupational health and safety services in accordance with national law and practice are implemented.
“We have not encountered occupational injuries and deaths, but this will not stop us from enforcing the health and safety measures,” she said.